Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
The first thing that you need to know is that I’m obsessed with the story of Robin Hood. I’ve always loved any Robin Hood movie (but especially the Disney version), have read tons of books about him, and I even lived in Nottingham, England for 4 months (with plenty of hiking through Sherwood Forest). So obviously when I heard about Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, I was over the moon. A Robin Hood retelling told through the eyes of a girl thief pretending to be a boy? Yes, please!
Unfortunately, while I did enjoy a lot of aspects of this novel, it didn’t live up to my expectations.
My biggest problem was with the heroine, Scarlet (or Will Scarlet as she’s known). At times I was totally in love with her, cause she was feisty, kick-ass, and didn’t take any crap from anyone. But at the same time, there were some very real moments when I wanted to throat-punch her. She was really, really mouthy and a little obnoxious sometimes. Her temper was through the roof for like 90% of the book, and she’d get set off for literally the tiniest things. And here’s the thing! I love my heroines feisty and bold. BUT Scarlet crossed the line from blunt into plain old annoying.
As for the love triangle (yes, there’s a love triangle, folks) between Scarlet, Robin, and Little John, I just wasn’t buying it. First off, Robin Hood was not the same Robin Hood that I love. He was quiet and angsty, with very little of the sass that is expected from Robin Hood, and it was honestly not very attractive. And then Little John was straight up an asshole. He was basically always rude to Scarlet, but then about halfway through a switch seems to flip in his head and all of a sudden he decides he wants her. I wasn’t believing a word of it, especially since through most of it he’s this notorious womanizer.
Finally, Scarlet’s accent/dialect drove me CRAZY. She talked like a back-country hick (except English), with sentences like “He were mighty attractive to me.” That’s how the entire book is written. But oddly enough, nobody else seems to talk this way…they all speak in proper English. Which makes NO sense, because Scarlet of all people should speak properly due to what you find out about her character at the end.
All in all, I enjoyed parts of this book. I liked the unique take on the story of Robin Hood and I liked the way that the author’s storytelling was very quick and full of suspense. There was tons of action and I loved reading about it, even if I wasn’t a fan of the characters. Some people may really enjoy this series and want to check it out, but it wasn’t for me.
Date Published: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens